BOSTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing next week after a second court-imposed deadline was set to reunite thousands of families detained at the border.
The committee is looking for answers from the Trump administration regarding their plan to re-unify those families.
So far, more than 14,000 children have been delivered to parents in immigration custody, but more than 700 children remain in government custody because their parents have criminal records. 431 of those children's parents have already been deported.
One Brazilian family was reunited in Boston on Sunday night after being kept apart for nearly two months.
Natalia Oliveira da Silva and her 5-year-old daughter Sara left Brazil to seek asylum in the United States, but were detained at the border in Texas and were later separated.
Speaking through a translator and her tears, Oliveira da Silva recounted what she says were the worst two months of her life.
"The biggest pain that I have experienced is to take away our children without any explanation," said Oliveira da Silva. "We were told over and over again that they were never going to separate us, that we were always going to be together."
At a news conference on Friday at the Brazilian Worker Center in Boston, Attorney Michelle Andrighetto says they spent weeks making phone calls, writing letters and applications, but that it took a threat of a lawsuit to finally reunite Natalia and Sara.
"To me it was like seeing my daughter again, it was like she was born again," said Oliveira da Silva.
Oliveira da Silva says Sara is now traumatized, saying she hadn't been eating and had stopped talking.
"Even today, after a federal court imposed a deadline, more than 700 children, some as young as one and two years old remain separated and detained," said Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, a member of the Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights and Economic Justice.
Andrighetto says that, even though some families have been reunited, it'll take a while for those children to process the trauma they've been put through.
"Even for those children who are finally together with their family, they need to begin the long process of healing which cannot be fixed overnight," said Andrighetto.
Advocates for Oliveira da Silva and her daughter say they will be filing for asylum for both mother and child. They will stay in Massachusetts while their legal process plays out.
Cox Media Group